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PhD Studentship: Highly Ordered Nanophotonic Systems

Department of Physics

London United Kingdom Nanotechnology Optical Physics Physical Chemistry

About the Project

Nanomaterials are a promising class of materials characterized by unique and often size-dependent properties that are distinct to those of their bulk equivalents. Since their discovery, they have become a prominent feature in the material science research landscape. Yet, their translation into technologies have been limited, owing in part to a lack of techniques for controllable manipulation and localization of colloidal nanomaterials into well-ordered heterostructures. As such, the development of facile, scalable and low-cost fabrication of nanoparticle heterostructures is a pre-requisite for many technological applications of nanomaterials, including light-harvesting, quantum information and photocatalysis.

In parallel to the developments in the synthesis of colloidal nanomaterials, the last decade saw great developments in combinatory self-assembly and localization methods involving the use of optical, dielectrophoretic, capillary and chemical forces. The project aims to explore the realm of what is achievable with such self-assembly methods, with respect to the fabrication of highly ordered heterostructures of nanoparticles and with regards to the tailoring of physico-chemical properties of such heterostructures. The project will also aim to extend the scope of the applicable techniques by developing new approaches to high-accuracy organization of colloidal nanomaterials of various compositions.

As part of the PhD, the candidate will have an opportunity to work with nanomaterials such as metallic nanoparticles, semiconductor quantum dots, conjugated polymer nanoparticles and carbon nanoparticles. The candidate will be introduced to a number of self-assembly, localization and nanofabrication techniques (e.g. EBL), as well as surface functionalisation methods. The investigations of the physical and chemical properties of the developed heterostructures will involve a variety of microscopies and spectroscopic techniques such as Tunnelling and Scanning Electron Microscopies, Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscope, UV-visible spectroscopy, Fluorescence Spectroscopy. These studies will be supported by numerical simulations via finite-element methods, using software packages such as Comsol Multiphysics, CST Microwave Studio or Lumerical.

A successful candidate is expected to have:

·      A first-class honours or second class honours upper division (2.1) MSc or MSCi degree in Materials Science, Physics, Biophysics, Chemistry or any other relevant topic

·      Excellent English written and spoken communication skills

·      A background in the area of nanophotonics

·      Ability to acquire and analyse data

·      Ability to devise experiments to test hypothesis

In addition, the following skills are desirable but not essential:

·      An interdisciplinary degree, or experience outside of main degree topic

·      Experience in working in a research environment

·      Experience in nanofabrication techniques and methods

·      Knowledge of basic chemistry or surface functionalization techniques

The PhD studentship will be undertaken in the Photonics & Nanotechnology Group of the Physics Department of KCL (

To be considered for the position candidates must apply via King’s Apply online application system. Details are available at

Please indicate Dr. Aliaksandra Rakovich as your desired supervisor and quote research group [Photonics and Nanotechnology] in your application and all correspondence.

The selection process will involve a pre-selection on documents; if selected this will be followed by an invitation to an interview. If successful at the interview, an offer will be provided in due time.

The Physics department at King’s College London is supporting Diversity and Equality, we invite all eligible candidates to apply.

The Physics department at King’s College London was awarded the Silver Swan medal and Juno Champion award from IOP.

Funding Notes

Funding is available for 3.5 years (full-time) and covers tuition fees at the level set for UK/EU students, £5,550 p.a. and a tax-free stipend of £17,285 p.a. with possible inflationary increases after the first year.

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